Tag Archives: brothers

Two Years Bigger, Two Years Smaller

My two youngest boys, Harry (10) and Teddy (8) play pretty well together, when they aren’t busy fighting.  I love watching them on the beach collecting crabs, or  building a castle for their plastic army guys, challenging each other on the trampoline in the backyard, or creating a whole universe with Legos. I love hearing them in the backseat of the car, talking and laughing as they discuss which world record they are going to try to beat. I find their imaginations fascinating, their stories endless.  I think even the vilified video games supply a type of creativity, as they insert themselves into another world and battle fierce enemies together.

I often marvel at the connection my two boys have…and I hope they always have it. They are VERY different kids, and I often think that if they weren’t brothers and they just happened to meet in school or camp, they might not choose to hang out with one another.  Harry tends to be more sporty and active, Teddy more scientific and bookish, and together they just shine.  I think they each bring out certain aspects in each other, and that if they didn’t have one another these hidden pieces may not ever be given a chance to grow and develop. I often think how lucky they are to have the chance to be friends with someone who doesn’t necessarily think in the same ways or share all the same interests. What a great gift, siblings…

Harry and Teddy share a room, and for the first time the other night Harry said he was ready for his own room. He said, he didn’t want anymore Star Wars stuff on his walls, just sports stuff.  Teddy still wants Star Wars. Now, we don’t have a spare room so he isn’t going anywhere, and after an argument of some proportion, they went to sleep, all forgotten the next day. But I was left with a touch of sadness.  Time is marching on and the short space of two years between them will seem large for a while.  Harry will be in middle school in another year, and at this young age that difference seems huge.  Sometimes I wish could stop it, freeze them where they are, but then I would never know the great adventures they are going to have together as they grow up, and I am sure there will be many…

So here is my story for them:

TWO YEARS BIGGER, TWO YEARS SMALLER

Harry and Teddy were brothers.

Harry was two years bigger and Teddy was two years smaller.

But they weren’t just brothers. Oh no, they were really much, much, more…

They were fierce pirates sailing over the stormy seas, always ready with their mighty swords to avenge their lost mates.

They were courageous astronauts with super, fantastic, ultrasonic, laser guns fighting to defend the universe from two –headed, blue skinned aliens.

They were fearless arctic explorers with their trusty dog sled team, racing over the frozen tundra as they battled the lost creatures of the ice.

They spent hours in the backyard together:

studying ant colonies at work, feeding the tiny bugs crumbs from their sandwiches and and marveling at their incredible strength as the ants easily carried huge pieces of pb&j back to their sandy hills.

And…

Trying to catch that one, gigantic bullfrog in the fish pond that always… seemed to… slip away…. right at the last…. SECOND! DARN!

And…

Camping in their homemade tent, but always ending up back in their own comfy house when all the good snacks were gone and it was just too dark and creepy to stay outside any longer.

Brothers, pirates, astronauts, explorers.

Two years bigger, two years smaller.

Until one day when Harry said he had an important announcement to make: he was too old to play these baby games anymore.

After all, he was two years bigger.

Teddy gasped! Teddy cried! Teddy…didn’t know what to do.

“No more stormy seas, or frozen tundra?” he asked.

“No,” said Harry. “I am two years bigger.”

“No more ant watching or slippery frogs?” asked Teddy.

“No!” said Harry, folding his arms across his chest. “I am two years bigger.”

“No more freaky aliens or sort-of camp outs?” asked Teddy.

“NO!” insisted Harry. “I am two years bigger. Too old for all that baby stuff!

So the games just… stopped.

The ships came to shore, the aliens slipped away and the dog sled sat idle in the shed.

One day it began to rain. It rained all day, and the next day and the next.

Harry sat alone in his room with nothing to do.

He looked out his window and tried to count the raindrops as they fell against the glass.

It was hard work, and very boring.

Then…wait… he saw something moving in the backyard.

It was Teddy.

He was running and waving his sword all about and shouting…at no one.

“Humph!” grumbled Harry, turning away, “Baby stuff.”

He looked over his shoulder.

Teddy was rolling around in the mud; his sword raised high, his voice getting louder.

“Two years bigger, two years bigger,” Harry muttered quietly.

He glanced out again.  Nothing. Where was Teddy?

Harry moved closer to the window.  There he was, lying very still on the wet ground, arms out straight, his sword lying by his side.

“Ridiculous!” Harry said, shaking his head.

He looked out again. Teddy hadn’t moved.

He looked closer…and then he saw them, enemy pirates!  A whole crew of them.

They were scattered all around, on the ground, moaning and holding their sides.

Of course, Teddy had beaten the pirates!

“Yes! Go Teddy!” Whispered Harry.

But wait… something was wrong. Teddy still hadn’t moved. He was hurt.

Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw something. What was that? There was a sudden flash of light and then he saw it, a gigantic sea monster!

It rolled silently past the abandoned pirate ship, over the crashing waves and headed straight towards his brother.

Teddy slowly raised his head and looked at the beast.  He tried to crawl away…

“Teddy! Hang on! I’m coming!” yelled Harry, stopping only to grab his sword before running out the door.

He charged straight into the rain, right at the monster and, let out a blood-curdling scream.

“AARRGGHH! Leave my brother alone!”

The ugly creature turned towards Harry.  It reared up, slime falling off his green skin, his mighty tail thrashing all about. His teeth were shiny and sharp, his eyes red and glowing.

This battle was sure to be the fiercest ever. Harry knew had to win, but he couldn’t do it alone.

“Help! Teddy!” he called.

Teddy got up, grabbed his sword and together they fought.

Their swords clashed, the rain fell and the stormy seas swirled around them. The battle raged on and on, until the sea monster, worn out, and realizing he was defeated by the strength of the two brothers gave one last feeble snort, then turned and swam away.

Exhausted the two boys fell to the ground, laughing and cheering.

“We did it!” yelled Harry.

“We did it!” yelled Teddy. “ Who-Hoo!”

The two boys rolled in the mud together in a rather messy victory hug-wrestle.

“Hey,” said Teddy, suddenly sitting up, “I thought you were too big for all these baby games?”

Well,” said Harry, thinking, wiping the dirt off his face, “Someone had to protect you from that monster and after all, I am two years bigger.”

Teddy threw a mud ball at him.

Brothers, pirates, astronauts, explorers.

Two years bigger, two years smaller.

Anne Cavanaugh-Sawan, 2011.

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